Organizers of the Eurovision Track Contest reversed course on Friday, asserting that Russia would now not be permitted to carry out on this yr’s occasion.
“The choice displays concern that, in mild of the unprecedented disaster in Ukraine, the inclusion of a Russian entry on this yr’s Contest would deliver the competitors into disrepute,” the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) stated in a assertion.
The choice to punish Russia culturally for invading Ukraine comes a day after the identical group had stated Moscow can be allowed to ship an act to seem on the subsequent Eurovision, scheduled to be held in Turin, Italy, in Could.
Ukraine’s public broadcasting firm had requested for Russia to be suspended from the favored contest, which is watched by virtually 200 million folks annually.
However the EBU, which has organized the competition since 1956, had insisted Eurovision was “a non-political cultural occasion.”
In response, quite a few different European nations had indicated they’d not take part on this yr’s occasion until Russia was banned.
Russia was but to formally announce an act for this yr’s competitors. For the reason that assault on Ukraine, 1000’s of Russians have braved the danger of being arrested to protest in opposition to their authorities’s lethal invasion.